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    How has your year been?

    I just looked back on a few old threads like Black Friday and such here and another forum I go to and notice my finance is way better now than this time last year. Of course, uncertainty in employment is still there for everyone, regardless of profession but it does feel at least 1 zillions time better this year than last year and probably will get better and better. Part of it is that I got a 10-year contract renewed this January and has been working about 15% more hours this year.

    I did get a raise of 62.5 cents per hour increase back in July and that is good though it will likely be much better next year due to my increased responsibility. Hopefully I'll get something like 1.25 dollar increase next year. I get paid 2080 hours minimum each year so that is a good enough increase for me. I heard a few janitor b-itching and moaning about getting only a 20 cents in crease last year and I had to laugh. The year before that I got no increase due to bad economy and merger/re-org. Many professionals in the office don't get any increase once they tap out their salary too and I think they put in more effort than janitor who only have to clean 3 bathrooms a day and get to charge 8 hours for it. I can clean 3 bathrooms in less than 4 hours and do a better job. No wonder we always see them hang-around the vending machine and watch the big screen TV in the lobby all day.

    I did get a SUV but it is more for off-roading than anything although we did take it on a big family beach vacation and did a lot of beach driving with it. it probably won't pass inspection next year so I'll have to get another 4x4 and a dolly to haul it to the trail. It's a good running rig and is more than capable for beach driving. Of course, a lot of my workers and colleague drive better trucks and rigs but they also have dual income and a lot of fall back plans unlike me.

    My supervisor did ask if I want to go into business with him. That was a very nice gesture but I declined because I can't get my job back if I quit. He and the other worker can because they have preference ranking and I don't. I would be nice making real salary though I tell you. I figure I would get about 30% salary bump and a lot more benefits (easier if I was single and didn't need stupid health insurance that we never use.)

    How has your year been?

    #2
    Our year has been just fine. My wife and I both have stable jobs. I haven't had a raise in about 7 years but that's not unusual in my field these days unfortunately. I still get a nice side income from surveys (see my blog). Our daughter, who turned 16 recently, has even started working a little here and there and will start a steady babysitting gig next month which will help out a bit more.

    As I posted back in May, our financial holdings topped the $500,000 mark for the first time this year. With the market volatility, that total has gone up and down like a roller coaster but it's still in that vicinity. Depends what day I look and if the market was up 300 or down 300 at that particular moment.

    We haven't yet made a decision on my wife's van. I'm planning to take it to another mechanic and see if the needed repairs can be done cheaper. If not, we'll be replacing it so that is possibly on the horizon but we're well prepared to do so if needed.

    We've paid about $12,000 extra on the mortgage so far this year. It would have been more but we stopped the extra payments temporarily to make a large one-time contribution to our synagogue. I'll be starting back on the mortgage next month and hope to have it paid off within 6-7 years.

    So all in all, it has been a good year financially speaking.
    Steve

    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

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      #3
      If counting my 401k that I actually have control over unlike social security holding, I probably top out at $250k. That figure should be $350k but S&P500 hadn't really recovered. Fortunately, I don't have to worry about it for another 24 years.

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        #4
        My year has been pretty positive overall, as well. Fairly busy too.

        I got 2 promotions at work this year amounting to about 20% increase in base salary, but I also get OT, so I estimate I'm at much higher than 20%.

        I reached the 100k mark this year and despite the market, I'm still saving aggressively. Hopefully the future value of these discounted investments will make it worthwhile!

        I've also made a lot of progress on my masters program and will only have 1 class left after this year, yay! Actually, I am curious how does having a masters translate to a higher salary? I will post this separately in a new thread. In addition to that I decided to begin the CFA journey.

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          #5
          Terrific. Best year so far money wise (and not only). I've started getting better with my small web design business, earned more, sold some sites, re-organized etc. I hope 2012 will be a 'natural' follow up for the wonderful things that happened this year.
          Personal Finance Blog | Dojo's PF Musings

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            #6
            IT's definitely been a GOOD year. I was just pondering on that since I had surgery in January, and was anxious how my recover would effect our income, etc. But we had a really good year. (Recovery from surgery was lightning fast - no lost income in the end).

            OF course, anything is probably better than 2010. My spouse had brain surgery and I took a 10% cut in compensation (lost retirement benefits). 2010.

            SO, I am pleased that we were able to max out our ROTHs this year. We were not able to last year with all the medical bills, and this year wasn't starting out much better.

            We got our mortgage below $200,000. (That $199k is purely psychological, but looks so much better!). Also, we hadn't prepaid on mortgage since we first had kids 9 years ago. But, we do have a goal to pay off by age 45, so are ramping that back up. (The plan originally relied on a second income, but we may be able to pull it off anyway. Trying the best we can).

            I earned $4000 in credit card rewards this year - barely lifted a finger to do so. Which made mortgage progress so easy and got us motivated in that area.

            We had no large unexpected expenses this year. (Outside medical deductible, which is pretty much a fixture in our budget anyway).

            We just have had a lot of curveballs thrown at us in the last few years. This year was refreshingly curveball-free, post January. Extra money (credit card rewards) was kind of the opposite experience of recent years.

            Stock market is so-so, but since I am only investing for retirement, I don't mind buying low.

            The value of our home actually stabilized though it still seems most homes in our neighborhood are still being lost to foreclosure.

            For 2012 all I wish is that no one in my immediate family has any surgery. That would be an improvement, financially and otherwise.
            Last edited by MonkeyMama; 11-19-2011, 06:20 AM.

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              #7
              Terrific also. Because my father has gotten addiction to alcohol. It only gets worse from year to year for me

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                #8
                Good but 2010 was better in some ways personally. Hope 2012 we have another baby. Funny before I'd look at money but now it seems measured in other ways. Financially every year we seem to get more secure but I look more forward to enjoying our life together.
                LivingAlmostLarge Blog

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                  #9
                  My year has been amazing

                  1. Got a boyfriend
                  2. Getting A's in all my courses
                  3. Got a job offer from Macys
                  4. In the best shape of my life
                  5. Gave up diet soda

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                    #10
                    There have been good and bad points, mostly great.
                    • Paid off house
                    • Got 2% raise (ok, not great but first one in 3 years)
                    • Bought 2 year old car to replace 13 year old car
                    • Got girlfriend after being single for 7 years
                    • Went on first real vacation (with above girlfriend) in years (usually I just ended up visiting relatives)
                    • Sold old car (tonight! )
                    • Maxed out 457 savings by September
                    • Sales from yard sale finds covered more than 1/2 of total yard sale expenses. Probably spent a net of $200 for the year and I got tons of great stuff.
                    • No debts of any kind
                    • Continued working out every day in the gym (GF loves the shape I'm in)


                    Hmmmm.... maybe I should make it a great year?
                    Don't torture yourself, thats what I'm here for.

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                      #11
                      My year was financially stable, could have gotten much better, but instead is now poised to get much worse. Steady income, saving, staying out of debt, planning- all these things are great, but events, or people in your life can torpedo them.

                      In my case it's a divorce. I was never financially compatible with my ex. She's a spender,I'm a saver. Tried to work out joint finances, but she would just empty the account. 4 years ago, while unemployed, she ran up 32K in credit cards, paying that off wiped out our joint finances. From then on I paid for everything from my own accounts, even paid off the mortgage when I thought the marriage was stable. 8 months ago she finally gets a "real job" making 20% more than me, 3 months ago she left. Wasn't due to money- too much stress from elderly parents, long hours, travel- no time for the marriage.

                      After she left she bought a $35K sports car (used!), and revealed she was back up to 4K in CC debt. Oh, and she thinks she's "entitled" to 1/2 the house, etc. Fortunately I have a good lawyer and this is not a community property state.

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                        #12
                        Overall, I think my year has been above average.

                        A couple well-paid internships
                        On track to fully fund Roth for the first time
                        Finishing up my (almost) last semester of Grad school
                        But, with all of the volatility in the market, although I have invested plenty this year, I don't have much more to show than last - I know, I know, dollar-cost averaging - but I would like to see some increases
                        No debts - Besides credit card which is paid off fully every month

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                          #13
                          Not a bad year overall, but expected more. I paid down a ton of debt. All I have left is my mortgage and a car note at 2%. So I saw a big decrease in my liabilities. Paid off $15k in student loans and a credit card I used for our vacations.

                          The other side has not done so well. Even with contributions to 401k and Roth, I feel I'm at the same level that I was a year ago. Gets depressing to keep plugging away and have a portfolio roughly the same value as the year prior. It's going to be my main focus for the next year though. Gonna work hard to hit a couple of milestone levels in my portfolio.

                          Career wise. My company was sold and went through a ton of changes, personnel and software. My job has been hellish. Busy, under appreciated and without a raise in 4 years. So I'm trying to do more with my money, while making less.

                          I'm aggravated, frustrated and tired, but will keep plugging along. I keep telling myself there are better times ahead.

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                            #14
                            My income is stable, my health is good and there are no wolves at the door. I won't complain about the ups and downs of life or the stock market because we all know that story. I'm better off than a year ago. Not by leaps and bounds but that's fine with me.
                            "Those who can't remember the past are condemmed to repeat it".- George Santayana.

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                              #15
                              Okay

                              For the most part my year has been okay, not necessarily what I want but at least it is ending on a much healthier financial standpoint

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